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Keywords:

  • L-selectin;
  • soluble L-selectin;
  • leucocyte activation;
  • psoriasis vulgaris;
  • psoriasis area and severity index

L-selectin is a leucocyte adhesion molecule involved in leucocyte interactions with vascular endothelial cells. Following leucocyte activation L-selectin is endoproteolytically released from the cell surface. To assess whether psoriasis vulgaris results in systemic leucocyte activation, we examined expression levels of L-selectin on subsets of peripheral blood leucocytes from patients with psoriasis (n = 25) and normal control subjects. Serum levels of soluble L-selectin were quantified by ELISA in patients with psoriasis (n = 75), pustulosis palmaris et plantaris, and contact dermatitis, as well as normal control subjects. Psoriasis severity was evaluated by psoriasis area and severity index (PASI). L-selectin expression levels on CD4+ T cells, B cells, monocytes, and neutrophils from patients with severe-type psoriasis (PASI ≥ 15) was significantly decreased compared with leucocytes from normal control subjects. Furthermore, L-selectin expression on CD4+ T cells showed good inverse correlation with PASI scores. Monocyte L-selectin expression was restored when the skin lesions of psoriasis were remitted. The frequencies of L-selectin+ CD4+ T cells or L-selectin+ CD8+ T cells from patients with psoriasis were almost normal. Serum L-selectin levels in patients with severe-type psoriasis were significantly higher than those in normal control subjects. These results suggest that subsets of leucocytes may be activated in psoriasis, and that L-selectin expression levels on some leucocyte subsets, especially CD4+ T cells, tend to correlate with disease severity of psoriasis.